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Scottish Labour election hopeful throws hat in ring for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross constituency

By Philip Murray

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Eva Kestner.
Eva Kestner.

Labour have announced their General Election candidate for the Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross constituency.

With the next General Election imminent - one must be held by January next year at the latest - various parties have begun announcing their election hopefuls.

And the candidate who will be contesting the seat for Labour is Eva Kestner.

She joins the already announced SNP candidate Lucy Beattie, Reform UK's Sandra Skinner, incumbent Liberal Democrat MP Jamie Stone, and the Scottish Green's Anne Thomas.

Other parties and individuals will likely join that list in the coming months.

In a personal statement Ms Kestner released alongside her candidacy announcement, she said: “I'm honoured to stand as the Scottish Labour candidate for Caithness, Sutherland, and Easter Ross. My roots in the region and extensive experience in politics and charity operations equip me to address diverse challenges, from economic diversification to healthcare access.

“Committed to transparency and community engagement, I'm driven by a passion for social justice. Let's work together to create a future where every voice is heard, and every individual thrives”.

“My political journey traces its roots back to the heart of this region, where I began my career as a parliamentary researcher working alongside Highland and island MSPs. Having moved to Scotland from Brussels in my late teens, I immersed myself in the vibrant tapestry of Scottish life, pursuing my passion for public communication through degrees at QMU in Edinburgh and Stirling University. Armed with a strong foundation in critical thinking and problem-solving, I ventured into the corridors of power, working at both the European Parliament and Holyrood.

“In 2016, personal circumstances led me to London, where I embarked on a new chapter in charity operations and finance, even retraining as an accountant. Guided by a commitment to social justice, I assumed leadership roles within the Violence against Women sector, advocating tirelessly for those in need. Today, as Head of Operations and Finance at the Political Studies Association, I continue to champion transparency, pragmatism, and community engagement.

“My journey has been defined by a relentless pursuit of collaboration and inclusivity, values that resonate deeply with the ethos of the Scottish Labour Party. From economic diversification to healthcare access, I am committed to tackling the multifaceted challenges facing our region head-on. I successfully ran as local councillor for Lee Green in Lewisham and I am currently the Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, which has equipped me with invaluable insights into policymaking and governance at all levels.

“Driven by a profound belief in the transformative power of politics, I am unwavering in my dedication to championing the voices of our communities. As we navigate the complexities of our time, I stand firm in my commitment to socialist principles, working tirelessly to build a future where every individual has the opportunity to thrive and prosper. Together, let us forge a path toward a more just and equitable society for all.”

Ms Kestner worked for Highlands and Islands Labour MSPs David Stewart and Rhoda Grant as a researcher.

Rhoda Grant MSP said: “I am delighted that Eva is standing locally for the UK Parliamentary election. Eva worked for David Stewart and I and is therefore knowledgeable on local issues. She has a wealth of experience representing people and initiating change. Eva is hardworking and dedicated. She will make an excellent MP for the area, and I would truly love to work alongside her to bring change to the north”.

Constituency Chairman Roger Saxon added: “Our campaign team is looking forward to working with Eva Kestner. The Nationalist and Tory governments between them have offered us only poor leadership, chaos and broken promises for more than a decade. They cannot be trusted to deliver.

“The constituency demographics have changed greatly since the Tories reduced our three Highland constituencies down to two. We now need political change and Scottish Labour is the change Scotland and the north need”.

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